Doctors report an increase in Mommy's Thumb

Amy Kuzirian and her daughter
Amy Kuzirian and her daughter
Amy began feeling pain caused by lifting Hailey.
Amy began feeling pain caused by lifting Hailey.
Dr. Michelle Palazzo
Dr. Michelle Palazzo

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - New parents have a lot on their minds, the new baby, lack of sleep and lately some doctors say they're seeing an increase in cases of a fairly common issue that can be quite painful.

Amy Kuzirian loved being a new mom to Hailey. With her husband working second shift - she was hands on constantly.

She started to notice a numbness and pain in her left arm - then it got really bad.

"It would hurt so much you would drop whatever you were holding. Yep, couldn't open anything. Had no grip. Nothing (the pain) was horrible," she explained.

Kuzirian said because of the pain she dropped hot food, plates, sippy cups, bottles and she was worried she would drop her daughter.

She went to Kleinert Kutz Hand Care Center where it didn't take long for Dr. Michelle Palazzo to tell her what was going on.

Kuzirian was suffering from de-quervain's tendonitis - also known as mommy's thumb.

"What Mommy's thumb is all about is this group of tendons. From your forearm across bone of wrist and up towards part of thumb," she said.

New moms, like Kuzirian, develop mommy's thumb because they are lifting their baby - over and over again. Women are four times more likely to develop this than men.

"I even had a lady who had a 20 pound cat who she constantly lifted.  So is that cat thumb?  Kitty cat thumb," Palazzo said.

Oftentimes the thumb side of the wrist may be tender or swollen.

Even doing simple things can be painful.

Palazzo said, "When we test for this we tuck the thumb in the hand and bring wrist down and you will literally see them come up and out of their chair because they work so hard."

Some doctors say there's an increase in cases thanks to heavier children, older moms and the thumbs getting a workout on smartphones.

Kuzirian was given steroid injections which allows her to pick up her daughter again without pain.

Oftentimes mommy's thumb can be treated with ibuprofen or aleve, heat or cool packs or a splint to support the thumb.

Parents are also advised to change how they are lifting their child.

Try to hug the child when lifting so as to not pull up the thumb and irritate the tendon.

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